Halloween As A Child

I'm an old man now.  My days of "trick or treating" are far, far behind me.  But, those days were filled with excitement as I recall.  I couldn't wait to get out of school, get my costume and mask ready for the Halloween trick or treating that night.  Those were some fun times as a child.  Of course, I didn't think how much fun it was back then.  I just wanted the candy.  But, Halloween was always the start of the holiday season. Halloween was always mysterious to me.  I could never understand what the rationale was to dress up like ghosts, witches and monsters, promise not to "trick" a house if we got a "treat."  I was one studious kid who tried to figure out things.  But, my misgivings about Halloween never stopped me from enjoying every Halloween all the way up to my 14th birthday.  After that, I just sort of lost interest.  Of course, then I had to take my siblings trick or treating on Halloween.  I hated doing that for some reason.  Maybe it was my way of rebelling against growing older.  But, I did my duty as the eldest on Halloween.  Eventually, my siblings grew too old for this passage in childhood also. 

The Halloween I remember most was when I was 10 years old.  Back in those days, everyone went all out for Halloween, unlike today when people turn out their lights to indicate they don't participate in Halloween.  We went to big house with a lot of cars parked around it.  Apparently, there was a Halloween Party for adults going on in this house.  We rang the doorbell and a man dressed in a skeleton outfit greeted us.  "Come on in, kids.  Go around the table and grab one of each in the bowls," the man said.  It was all kinds of candy there.  Snicker bars, payday, that corn candy I love even today and just about every kind of candy you can imagine in 1961.  There were about 15 bowls of candy on this one table.  Before we left, the skeleton man gave us each a candied apple.  Most of us dropped them on the way to trick or treat other homes.  But, that was probably the best Halloween night I can remember.  I had three bags of candy to tote home that night. We didn't get home until after 10PM, which antagonized my mother to no end.

Of course, it is dangerous to let kids go trick or treating in this day and time.  People will kill children if they get the chance on Halloween.  If I had kids today, I would not let them go trick or treating.  I'd take them to a church "Fall Festival" or to the mall.  That's sad when you think about it.  Children today still go trick or treating.  But, they do so with close supervision of an adult.  At least, that is what should be done on Halloween tonight.  Watch your kids tonight, parents. 


My Life At Age 63

I turned 63 years old last month.  I remember when I thought I was old when I turned 50.  That seems like just a few years ago.  That's another thing; once you hit 40, time just seems to zoom by so fast!  From age 40 to 50 was about 3 years it seemed.  So, I guess I need to enjoy each day of life.  And, I try to do just that.  But, with my medical issues, that is hard to do.  I would love to travel some.  But, that would be very difficult to do now.  I should have went when I had the chance.  I may still be able to once I get my gastritis issues out of the way.  But, that is on down the road now.  My ex-wife and I would love to travel together.  But, she is still recovering from chemo and radiation.  So, I'm not sure when we will get to hit the road together.  She wants to go to Las Vegas.  I want to go to Mt. Rushmore.  Yes, we have difference even now.  We'll figure something out.  I guess when you hit age 60 you start thinking about your inevitable death.  I have not planned out my funeral arrangements as yet.  I keep putting it off.  But, this is something I need to do and soon.   I have to do this.  And I will.

Life now seems much different than when I was 40 or less years of age.  I didn't have the health issues I had back then for one thing.  I gain weight a lot easier now.  I am fighting to lose about 20lbs.  It is nearly impossible to do.  But, I won't give up trying.  I see friends I have not seen in years.  I think, my God they have gotten old!  Yes, I looked in the mirror and discovered they weren't the only ones to get old.  Sometimes I don't recognize the guy in the mirror.  Whatever happened to the young blonde-haired guy with thick hair?  It is rapidly disappearing and what's left is very gray now.  That is sad to think about.  My life has been far from easy.  But, I suspect I am not the only one to have a hard life.  It seems those miles of hard life are in the wrinkles I see in the mirror.  After age 60, you wake up with pains and groans you didn't have when you went to bed the previous night.  It just happens.  It's just old age and something you have to deal with on a daily basis.  As I stated in a previous post, I have a new car.  I thought that new Honda Accord would be easier to get in and out of each day.  I was wrong.  It is almost as difficult to get in and out of the Accord as it was the Civic.  I should have bought that Ford F-150 truck as I had considered.  I sometimes forget I'm not 63 years old.

People say, you are only as old as you act or, in some cases, as you feel.  I think the latter of the two falls in line with me.  There are days I feel every bit of those 63 years.  I never expected life would be like this as I got old.  I should have known this.  I'm not going to say life is miserable after age 60.  But, there are changes you have to make.  Changes that you may or may not have anticipated.  Now, time to go get that heating pad on my aching back.


My New Car

New 2014 Honda Accord Coupe V6

I say "my new car" when I actually bought my new Honda Accord on July 27th of this year.  It now has over 4300 miles on it.  But, since I have been talking about buying a new car since January (Time to Trade in My Honda Civic), I thought I would make mention of it in a post.  In that post linked above, I talked about buying a 2014 Jeep Cherokee.  I came really close to buying one.  I like Jeeps.  But, I don't like the insurance rates for them and I don't like the ratings that people gave them on Google and Yelp.  So, I decided to stick with Honda.  I bought the 2014 Honda Accord Couple V6.  I almost bought the 4 cylinder.  But, I really didn't like the acceleration in it or the Jeep Cherokee.  I do a lot of interstate driving.  I need a car that has good pickup and gas mileage.  My Honda Accord does both.  Now, that 2006 Honda Civic EX I traded in was a good little car.  It had great gas mileage and was very dependable.  But, as I discussed in the article linked above, I had the ECT sensor replaced.  That cost just over $400.  Not much when you consider that was the most I had spent on it.  But, I kept having trouble with the A/C as well.  After 8 years of dependable service, it was time to update my transportation.

I am very deliberate when it comes to buying a car.  I actually started thinking about buying a new car a year ago this month, in October of 2013.  I am very happy with my 2014 Honda Accord Couple V6.  It is very comfortable, takes the bumps in the road much better than the Civic. It has all the latest gadgetry of today.  It has tire pressure sensors, which the Civic did not have.  It has a backup camera, driver safety aids (lane departure warning, front collision warning, etc) and many other features I find attractive.  I probably won't trade it in for at least 7 years as long as it doesn't give me any trouble.  But, I do get compliments all the time on what a beautiful car it is.  I love the car bra on the front as well.  I hate getting dings on the paint job.  Hence, the car bra.  I really like it.  It is a really nice car.


Visits to the Doctor

There aren't many things I hate worse than going to the doctor.  Going to the dentist would be one thing I hate to do. Sitting with my car as it is being repaired would probably top the list of things I hate to do.  But, last week, I had to go to my urologist and dermatologist all in the same damn week.  Both were awkward for a variety of reasons I won't go into.  The urologist visit is to a doctor I don't like.  To be honest, there aren't many doctors I do like.  But, he is #1 on my list.  He is rude at times.  The thing about it, I don't say anything when he is an ass. I'm always at a loss for words for some damn reason.  I plan on correcting that the next time I visit. Next visit, I am going to be an asshole too.  I'm sick of him.  I just don't like him.  My dermatologist is a  pretty good guy.  He seems the opposite of the urologist.  But, it takes so long to get an appointment with him. I've heard that is typical of all dermatologists these days.   But, like all doctor visits, once I get to the skin doc's office, it's hurry up and wait and wait and wait.  Once in the back room, you wait some more. I hate waiting if you have not figured that out by now.  All in all, I think it is safe to say I avoid going to the doctor as much as possible.  At my age, I shouldn't do that.  But, I am so miserable while I am there.  It is a necessary evil, I know.

It seems that I always meet up with someone who has a personality disorder on my office visits.  Take for example the office visit to my dermatologist last week.  My appointment was 8AM.  The office wasn't even open when I got there.  Shortly after I got there, this mouthy woman shows up and lets me know she is unhappy with the entire world.  Case in point, there was a rattle coming from what I believe I correctly deduced as an AC vent.  She said it wasn't an AC vent causing the noise.  She didn't offer an idea what was causing the noise.  But, she 100% with it not being the AC vent.  People like that drive me insane.  Then we make it into the office, she proceeds to sit next to me again.  Once again, she mouths off about politics and why this country is headed to hell.  I didn't disagree with much she had to say.  But, one thing I learned a long time ago is never discuss politics and religion with people you don't know.  In fact, it's a good idea not to discuss the two with people you do know.  Thankfully, I was called into the back to wait on the doctor.  I don't have to go back to him for at least four months.  It may be even longer.  I think four months is too quick for a routine check.  Thankfully, I don't have to see Dr. Rude (urologist) for another year.

If you have stories about your doctor visits, please feel free to share.


Letters Home from the Greatest Generation - Part V

Welcome to Paris GI!



Paris is Taken

Please click HERE to get all the info about this series.

The Battle of Normandy, the Liberation of Paris, was concluded on August 25, 1944. Now, the steady drumbeat of Allied Forces could be heard in Berlin as the Germans prepared for the invasion of their homeland. My Uncle John would actually discuss this event of WWII. He enjoyed talking about it because, for the first time in his life, he was treated like royalty by the French people. All his life, after WWII, he held the French in high regard. He told us that in parts of France people only had a wedge of cheese and maybe a bottle of wine between them and starvation. But, it was offered to American GIs without hesitation. The French people had suffered for a long time at the hands of the German high command. In the mind of the Germans, it was payback time for WWI.

In this letter below, my uncle is becoming more and more emotional about the war. He is almost numb from the atrocities that the German soldiers committed against the French during their occupation and as they were fleeing the Allied Advance. He mentions one episode below that is graphic in nature. Readers be advised of this content. It is hard to understand how the German people could commit mass murder and commit atrocities that defy imagination to the occupied lands of WWII. My uncle is now worried about a number of things. The thing the U.S. Army troops were most looking forward to, taking of Berlin, was being mostly handled by the Red Army of the Soviet Union. To say the least, our troops were irate about this. Many felt that General Eisenhower had betrayed them. My Uncle John cursed the name of Eisenhower until two days before his death in January of this year. Many troops never forgave him.

Here now is the latest installment of Letters Home from the Greatest Generation - Paris is Taken.

Cpl John S. Wxxxx
IV Division, Third Infantry, U.S. Army
Paris, France
August 27, 1944

Dear Alice
As you pobably know by the time you get my letter you know that we have taken paris france. The paris people are very happy to see us here, Alice. We all marched in about two days ago. We been drinking wine almost all day since that march in. Germans did not put up much of a fight. I think the German boys know the war is about to end. I still have hope we can be home by Christmas Alice. That is my prayer every night. I know one thing them german boys look like they all about to cry. They know the only thing keeping them alive now is the ones they been fighting, us American boys. We captured a lot of them in what little battle they put up agin us. They ran to us with the white flag yelling something at us. I guess it means they surrender is what they said. 

I wished we could kill all these dam germans. they did xxxxxxxxx some bad things in this country Alice. The thing I remember most is this little village about 20 miles south of where I am right now. We came into the village and the Germans had just left. We heard a woman screaming like somebody was hurting her. me and Mickey Cxxxx ran to her. She was speaking French so we could not understand her. But, she keeps pointing to her daughter. I could not see anything wrong with the girl until I made her turn around. She was bleeding out of her rear a lot Alice. She look like a young teenage girl to me, maybe the same age as your little cousin Patty. I still could not understand what happened. A french guy that could understend some english told us that 3 german soliders rapped this little girl in her rear in front of her mama and papa. The French guy said they had only left about 10 minutes from the time we showed up. We went looking for them. We did not have to look far. They were hiding in a barn about a mile from the village. 1 of them put up a fight. I shot him. He was the lucky one. The other 2 were not so lucky Alice. Some how they got they balls cut off. That is what we told major ellis when we brought them back screaming and bleeding. Major Ellis asked me how it happend and I told him maybe a farmer did it. He did not ask us any more questions about that. Those 2 will never rap another little girl again.

We are all mad as hell Alice. We got word today we will not be going into Berlin to finish off the dam germans. Instead we are heading to some kind of camp called bukenwall (Buchenwald Concentration Camp). And we may have to join up with the Third Army. I hate that as much as not going to Berlin. What the hell are they thinking? We so mad we can spit fire.

I am looking up at the stars tonight Alice. I wonder what you are doing as I writ this letter for you. It seems you are on one of those stars up there waiting on me to come home. I like to think I can see my mama put one of her apple pies on the front porch table to cool off. I like to think I can see old pooch (that was the name of his beloved dog) barking at the mail man bring the us mail to our house. I think I can see daddy rasing hell about no rain as he always does. I wish I was home Alice. I am sick of this dam war and everything to do with it. I never want to see any kind of gun again if I make it back home. I am sick of the sound of them and all they represent. I am sick of death, of boys without arms or boy without legs or boys without anything but a body and a head left on them. I am tired of looking at the death that war brings. The french people have been grate to me. But, the war is over for them. We must continue this war until it is over for us. I must go. Some of the boys want me to go with them to another party tonight.
I love you Alice

***Until his death in January of 2011, Uncle John never allowed a gun in his house or on any of his property again. 

****This may or may not be the final installment in this series.  Unfortunately, the professor from the local community college can no longer help me decipher the writings of my Uncle John's writings.  They are faded and, as mentioned before, Uncle John's penmanship is horrible.  But, I will try to post at least one final chapter to close out the series. 


Accepting Mortality

I'm sure you have heard before that we won't get out of this world alive.  Meaning, none of us living today will be alive 80, 90 or 100 years from today.  Accepting our own mortality, coming to grips to our eventual death is not something I really thought much about until I turned 40 years old.  When you are young, you foolishly think you will live forever.  But, eventually, as you get older, you realize that you are not immortal, that you do not have infinite years to live.  It's something that is difficult to accept.  Many people live like they will have no tomorrows and plan accordingly.  Then you have some people who live more in 25 years than some who have lived twice that long.  "Live for today because tomorrow is not promised to you."  If I heard that once, I heard it a million times from my mother.  She may or may not have been right.  But, that glosses over the very idea of mortality.  Should one live for today simply because tomorrow is not promised?  No, I don't agree with that at all.  But, I do think you should live your life with as much joy and happiness as you can.  As you get older, into your sixties as I have, you come to the realization you don't have many years left on this earth.  If I live as long as both my grandfathers, I have maybe 15 years of life left in me.  That's a bit frightening to think about.  But, I have come to grips with my mortality.

I guess my whole point in this post on mortality is that since we don't know how long we will live, it is best to enjoy each day as best you possibly can.  I will be the first to admit I don't always practice my own advice.  We are not immortal.  We have to accept that someday we will face death.  If you are a Christian, as I am, then you face death with some trepidation but with the belief you will live again in Heaven.  Not even Christians welcome death, the end of their mortal lives.  But, we accept our death with the satisfaction we shall live with Jesus Christ for eternity.  Now, some people will say this is all nonsense.  Some will say once you die, that's it for you.  There is nothing else.  I don't accept that.  I don't accept that my life and that of everyone else is just one big accident.  We were all placed in a mortal world for a reason.  What that reason may be, I won't know for sometime, I hope.  The end of my mortality is approaching.  But, I do not fear it.


Paranormal and Supernatural Guest Posting Series

I have to say, I love this paranormal/supernatural guest posting series more than any other since this blog started up.  I have been thrown many great stories that I had to turn down for various reasons. I simply can't publish them all.  For every 5 submitted to me, I must turn down 4.  My apologies to those of you that have been turned down.  It's not because your story is not very good.  It's simply because the one story I do pick just stands out from the other 4.  Please don't take it personally.  This paranormal/supernatural series has been immensely popular.  Far more popular than I ever would have imagined.  I regret I waited six years before initiating this series on this blog.  I even had to get a different feed for the series due to its popularity. I also want to take this time to thank those who have offered advice about this series.  Since the stories are not my own, I cannot in good conscience sell the stories.  Yes, they are my property since they are published on my site.  But, if I ever do incorporate these stories into one big ebook, I will certainly make note of this in this blog..  It does sound appealing.  But, I would have to share the royalties with the respective authors.  At this time, I am inclined not to do this. 

The very first story published was "House at the End of Satter Field Road."  This is one of my personal stories I shared.  It has received moderate success with nearly 1500 reader hits.  It was one of those coming of age stories that nearly ended in my coming of age!  I'll always believe we broke into a witches lair that late afternoon.  The next story in this series was also a personal experience.  It was a two-part series entitled "Ghost Story:  Summers at Grandma's House."  Each received over 500 reader hits which was bit of a disappointment to me.  I really thought this story would do well.  However, the next personal story I published took care of that disappointment.  "Stormy Night in an Abandoned House" has to date received just over 4K in reader hits.  That was a big surprise to me.  This story is not a story in the traditional sense of something out of the supernatural or paranormal.  But, readers do like this story.  A guest post story by Michelle Diamond completely took me by surprise as well as Mrs. Diamond.  This story continues to get reader hits seven months after it was published.  The story, Something in the Attic, has just over 11K in reader hits.  It continues to be one of the most popular stories around.  In the first 24 hours, I got over 7K in hits.  But, the story that has surpassed them all is "The Thing in the Idaho Wilderness" by Tom Spencer.  In the first 12 hours of being published, this story received just over 9500 reader hits!  That was astonishing to me. Some blogs don't get that many hits in two months combined.  To date, it has nearly 19K in reader hits.  It continues to be the most popular story ever published in the near seven-year history of David's Musings.  This story still garners at least 30 hits a day ten months after being published.

As good as these stories are, the one that continues to haunt me, the one that continues to get good reader hits. is The Voice in the Wilderness by John Malcolm.  It has nearly 3K hits which is miniscule to some of the others listed above.  But, this story is one you simply have to read.  I hate singling one story out.  But, The Voice in the Wilderness is extremely unusual.  It's the kind of story that will keep you awake at night.  It's both frightening and sad all at once as one thinks it is the voice of a wayfaring stranger who never made it back home.  Just read it.  I guarantee, you will not ever forget it.

There are more stories concerning the supernatural or paranormal if you prefer.  Even after my activity starts to disappear slowly after this blog reaches 7 years of age next April, the stories on the paranormal and supernatural will continue. We will continue to take stories on the paranormal/supernatural topic.  I realize a 20% acceptance rate is not very high and might be discouraging.  But, submit your stories anyway.  You never know what will strike our fancy.  It must be unusual, something that tingles the spine of the reader.  If you wish to submit your story, click here to get started.  Be sure to put PARANORMAL in the subject line and make your pitch of what your story is all about.


An Instant in Time Update

I made a post (An Instant in Time) about 5 1/2 years ago about a former member of the same Sunday School services I attended back in the early 90s.  His name is Dan and I discussed how a momentary lapse of judgement completely ruined his life.  Dan was in a hurry to get to work one morning and decided to pass a school bus that still had it's STOP flag out.  Dan ran over a little girl who was killed instantly.  Dan was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was found guilty and served 3 years of a 5 year sentence in prison. His wife divorced him while he was in prison.  His life went downhill from that point.  Once he got out of prison, the only job he could get was in landscaping.  This was a former banking investor who couldn't get any work.  Dan lost everything, including his marriage.   But, as I said in that post, I saw him at a local Steak and Shake back in 2009 and had not heard from him since that time.

I got a call from a former church member Sunday morning.  He said he had received word that Dan had committed suicide late Friday night.  I was shocked just as anyone would have been about news such as that.  But, I can't say I was surprised.  I had heard from mutual friends that Dan was not doing well and still could not get work.  Financially, he was on the verge of living with his aging parents which he didn't want.  So, Dan killed himself rather than do that.  I'm not sure what he was thinking.  Surely, he recognized how devastated his parents would be upon hearing of his suicide.  Like he did with the incident related in An Instant in Time post, he did not give much thought to what his actions would do to others.  He did leave a note for his two daughters.  The content, of course, was not revealed, nor should it have been.  I don't like to judge other people.  I don't think I am doing it with Dan.  But, I think we all need to sit back and think about what we will do or say in an irrational moment that could cost us dearly.  Dan was haunted by killing that little girl back in 1993.  His thoughtless moment affected so many people.  I hope, at long last, Dan can finally rest in peace.  I hope he can.  That's all I can or will say about that.


Reflections on this Blog

I've said this blog is in the winding down stage in a previous post.  I'll discuss more on that in a later post.  I will not close the blog as I did back in 2011.  But, my posts will become less frequent.  You will continue to see guest posts on the paranormal/supernatural topic.  But, for the most part, my posts will start to disappear off this blog.  Instead, you will see posts from editors and staff of David's Musings.  To me, that is a good thing.  Once we get to 1,000 posts (which will be around March of next year), I will continue to post, but on a weekly basis instead of the twice weekly basis as is now.  I've enjoyed this little blog.  But, due to continued medical issues and other personal issues, I am going to step back quite a bit next year.  I've had offers to buy this blog.  But, the offers have not come to the price level I think this blog deserves.  David's Musings has held up when all others faded away. I've seen lots of blogs come and go.  I've seen lots of visitors come and go.  I've seen page rank as high as PR4 and as low as PR0.  I've seen as many as 9500 visitors within a 12 hour period due to one post (The Thing in the Idaho Wilderness).  As I said, I've seen many highs and lows while writing for this old blog.  This blog will be 7 years old next April 5.  This is an incredible effort.  I could not have made it without the encouragement and help of many people.  Most are gone now.  So, I won't go there again.  Many people (including me) have said blogging is a dying art.  But, I tend to believe it is enjoying a renaissance of sorts now.  I've noticed more and more blogs popping up on blogger.

I will still be owner of this blog.  Others will share their views on various issues.  But, they will be few and far between.  As I said, most of the posts will be on the paranormal/supernatural topic. Advertising will still be accepted.  Visitors will still be welcomed.  But, after I turned 63 years of age last month, I decided its time to focus on my new blog The Retired Baby Boomer.  I don't know how successful that blog will be.  But, it is something I enjoy discussing.  Retirement is something we all will have to do at some point.  So, those of you so inclined, I invite you to join us over at the The Retired Baby Boomer.  More on the future of this blog in future posts.

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